Astro Toy Revoltech Kenshiro: Ken's Rage Version
by David Cabrera, Jul 24th 2011
Let's think about the phrase “You wa shock,” which famously opened Fist of the North Star (Hokuto no Ken, HnK), the popular televised life instruction manual for young boys. Is shock an adjective here? Can one even use “shock” as an adjective? Is this a temporary state-- “you're shocked”-- or is the described the incarnation of shock itself? Think about it long and hard, reader, because I have a Fist of the North Star action figure to look at.
This is Kenshiro. He's rather famous. Perhaps you saw his movie at Blockbuster Video, like I did all those years ago? Or maybe you saw him punch a tank until it exploded, or the time he said “In how many seconds?”, or-- well, I could go on, but it wouldn't serve any purpose. This figure is one of the very long HnK Revoltech line, and the fourth release of Kenshiro alone in this line.
The difference here is that Ken is wearing his outfit from the Dynasty Warriors spinoff Hokuto Musou (released in English for PS3 and Xbox as Ken's Rage). If I may take a swerve into game reviewing, Ken's Rage is a suitable love letter to HnK and a rather poorly made videogame-- albeit one narrated by Norio Wakamoto!
Anyway, in that game the characters were given all-new, flamboyant outfits (the original comic versions were sold for $2.50 a pop). Ken's got this flame design all over the outfit, and he's covered in studs, zippers, belts, jewels, and all manner of other ornaments. In other words, he looks like a modern Japanese videogame character now.
Revoltech figures in particular tend to falter on these fine details: at this size and this cost, and with a design this ornate, it's expected. When I reviewed the Jojo figures, I mentioned that the detailing on Revoltechs and Figmas pale by comparison: this certainly is the case here. That said, the figure holds up to a close inspection better than one would expect. I've supplied some detail shots, because our photos are small and there are a lot of fine engravings and patterns and such.
Here I was just making Ed Hardy jokes on the column a month or two ago...
The articulation is similar to previous figures in the HnK line (of which I own a couple). These are the usual strong, tight Revoltech joints. Everything moves that possibly can, They go everywhere that's physically possible, the joints stay in place like they ought to, and nothing comes apart unless you're giving it a conscious effort. You'll notice that Ken's midsection is a little weird when bent: the joint's fully visible, and the upper half of the torso can float above a little bit. This is likely intentional for posability: my earlier Ken figure has nearly identical articulation except for this bit.
As this is yet another variant of the same character, there aren't a lot of extra hands or faces supplied: it's assumed you bought an earlier release (the first had many). Those supplied are not unique: just open hands, palms and fists, along with the angry face that any proper Ken figure ought to come with.
But of course, there's a gimmick! We don't often buy toys without gimmicks around here. Dynasty Warriors fancied up both the costumes and the special effects: in the game, blue flame trails follow Ken when he uses his signature attacks, which now kill scores of enemies at once (the main goal of the DW series).
And so, we have these awesome semi-clear effect parts: a flame to be attached to the arm for (please read in your deepest, most agitated voice) Hokuto Ujou Moshou Ha!!
One for the foot, for Hokuto Hiei Ken!!
And finally, two giant masses of spirit-fists for Kenshiro's famous Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken!! A-tatata!
I know, it's beautiful. These pieces actually replace the normal fists.
The package is filled out by the usual Revoltech extras: the stand, the chips we can't use for anything, and the case for keeping them in. The hole for the stand is hidden behind Ken's belt on the back: clever, yeah? Nothing crazy here.
As Revoltechs go, this is typical. It looks good (not amazing but damn good for Revoltech), it's got the best articulation around, and it's got a beautiful gimmick. It's been a while since I did a Revoltech on the column, and that's in part because the line is so consistent: that they are a worthy buy is nearly a given.
Ken's available at Right Stuf for $36 before shipping right now, which is a good price. And hey, you can also get “that one scene where Ken wears goggles and short sleeves” Ken, or shirtless Ken. If you're into belts, zippers, fire, and experience grinding, other Musou-version Revoltech figures exist for much of the major HnK cast, like Raoh and Rei.
One man carves out his own destiny! One cat defies the heavens! That is the 2,000 year legacy of the Divine Fist of the North Star! Behold! That bloody history will soon come to an end!!
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.
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